For as many years as I care to remember I’ve suffered with gout and inflammation in my feet. Following a rather ‘big’ few weeks celebrating my son’s 21st birthday and my mum’s 70th as well as the birth of our first grandchild, I spent nearly 3 solid weeks in agony. Unable to do my weight training at the gym, I would just spend the evenings drinking more and hating my body.
“What if I could do a reset, like a CTRL+ALT+DELETE on my body?” That thought had crossed my mind a number of times, but what did it actually mean? how could I do that. I’d often joked with my wife about turning Pescatarian just to do something different. Then opportunities presented…
At a conference with the amazing Krista Tier and I was introduced to Damien Turner from Garden of Vegan (GOV from here). My first impressions were somewhat stereotypical, thinking “oh, you’re one of those guys huh?”.
What does a vegan zombie eat? ….. GRAAAAAAINS!!!
As the morning went on there was some comments made about my thoughts on resetting my body to help with the swelling, and a documentary currently showing on Netflix – The Game Changers. It piqued my interest so I watched it that night.
Mind blown! I made a decision that night to totally change my eating habits. I wanted a plant based whole food way of life. Day 2 of the conference I had oat milk in my coffee, I had the vegetarian sandwich on rye for lunch, I was pumped. The next 7 days were not too much of a struggle, I still had my beer, just didn’t eat any meat… with the exception of some jars of cockles, and a couple of prawns in my soup. I’d placed an order with Garden of Vegan to try a few of their dishes out, but otherwise was happy with my salads, veggies and fruit.
Then the team at GOV approached me and asked if I would take part in a pilot program, a six week challenge to transform my health. Hell yes! Oh wait, it was going to require me to commit 100% for 42 days, eating only the foods they provided, NO alcohol, NO caffeine, NO cigars. It’s not a choice I made lightly, some of those things were my go to evening relax, plus I’d even fallen in love with my local vegan pizza… here I was agreeing to stick to the rules.
I dropped the caffeine before the challenge started, and the other things the night before. As I write this the stats are:
- Day 13 without “meat”, but;
- Day 6 of being vegan
- Day 9 without caffeine
- Day 6 without alcohol
- Day 6 without nicotine
Some fun facts so far:
- I have more energy than before I started this journey.
- I have lost weight already
- I have lost inches already
- I do not feel deprived (well just a little on some things)
- My sleep is consistent and restful
- I am enjoying the challenge
I’m going to wait until the end of the journey to publish the actual stats of my weight, measurements and sleep studies. As a baseline I have also had blood tests, ultrasound (how fatty was my liver!) and doppler scans to check blood flow through my arteries and for plaque build up.
I know before starting the challenge I had misconceptions about vegan food, in fact my usual joke was “the cow eats the grass, I eat the cow, best of both worlds”. Little did I understand that there was an element of truth in that, about the grass at least! But how could I get my proteins from a vegan diet? with meals like these, how can I not!!!
At the end of the day I know it is not for everyone, I’m just going to be sharing about my journey and see how I am at the end of six weeks. If week 1 is anything to go by then I’m super excited.
A BIG thank you to Mel, Damien, Benny, Gareth, Druen and all the team at Garden of Vegan, you’re all an inspiration and I can’t thank you enough for taking me on this journey, you can visit their Facebook page.